THEME 4

 

Technical and Vocational Education for All

4.1 TVE is one of the most powerful instruments for enabling all members of the community to face new challenges and to find their roles as productive members of society. It is an effective tool for achieving social cohesion, integration and self esteem.

4.2 TVE programmes should be designed as comprehensive and inclusive systems to accommodate the needs of all learners; they must be accessible to all. Special efforts are needed to reach previously marginalized groups. Where specialized programmes are required, these should be designed to facilitate entry into the mainstream, thus ensuring continued access to lifelong learning.

4.3 The list of recognized marginalized groups is long and is certain to grow to include others which are yet unknown. TVE programmes, both formal and non-formal, must be made available in varying modes of accessible delivery to the unemployed, early school leavers, out of school youth, those disadvantaged by distance and location, rural populations, indigenous people, those in the midst of urban despair, populations engaged in informal labour markets with poor working and living circumstances, children working under hazardous conditions, refugees, migrants and demobilized soldiers in post-conflict situations.

4.4 The underrepresentation of women in TVE is of particular concern. Traditional perceptions of appropriate roles for men and women in the work place should be challenged. TVE must respond with gender-inclusive learning programmes, both in content and delivery, including measures to attract men into previously female-dominated training and careers. Faculty need to be gender-sensitive.

4.5 For the promotion of equal access of girls and women to TVE courses, more effective forms of educational and vocational guidance and counselling must be provided along with gender-sensitive guidance and counselling materials. At the same time the learning and working environments must be made more suitable for the participation of girls and women, overt and covert bias and discrimination must be removed and a positive image and appropriate incentives for female participation in TVE should be created.

4.6 To overcome the lack of employment opportunities for girls and women and the misconception that they are incapable of performing particular tasks, TVE programmes emphasizing the development of their entrepreneurial capacity should be undertaken.

4.7 The journey through lifelong learning is burdensome for the disabled; the pathways are very rocky and difficult to negotiate. Their aspirations and achievements must be broadened. People with disabilities frequently have difficulty accessing TVE for a range of reasons. These include the underestimation of educators and vocational guidance personnel of the ability and potential of people with disabilities to take up competitive paid employment. Those who are able to join mainstream TVE programmes should be assisted to do so while those with more severe disabilities should be provided with special programmes and learning strategies to realize their potential and optimize their participation in society and the work force.

4.8 The commitment to TVE for all requires well designed policies and strategies, increased resources, flexible and appropriate delivery modes, friendly training environments and sensitive and caring teachers and employers.

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